Economics Students Present Urban Plans

Nine teams of juniors and seniors in Perry Walthour’s Economics class presented their redevelopment vision to a fictitious city council made up of Urban Land Institute (ULI) volunteers. Two concurrent city councils were held on Friday, November 8, producing a winning development team from each council. The winning teams are: BONK’D Development with Holly Hardman, Marketing Director; Max O’Brien, Financial Analyst; Tommy Bishop, Site Planner; Mason Doherty, City Liaison and Anna Kagiliery, Neighborhood Liaison; and Urban Flow with Maureen Gao, Marketing Director; Leticia Huntley, Financial Analyst; Jackson Chappell, Financial Analyst; Jack Adam, Site Planner; Johnny Rukab, City Liaison and Vason Lyerly, Neighborhood Liaison.

UrbanPlan is a hands-on, 15-hour course that was created by Urban Land Institute (ULI) to teach high school and college students how the built environment is shaped through planning and development. Students work in development teams to analyze and respond to a hypothetical Request for Proposal for the redevelopment of a specific urban area. Each student takes on a specific role in their development team, which consists of a Site Planner, Financial Analyst, Marketing Director, City Liaison and Neighborhood Liaison.

Through the program, students explore how the forces of a market economy work with and against non-market forces in a democracy to create the environment in which they live. In completing their plans, the students must consider economic, social, cultural and political goals of the fictional city and its residents. Some of the items they will have to consider are zoning and design regulations, market demand for different types of land uses and real estate products, traffic patterns, quality of life and the needs of investors and lenders providing the capital for the project.